On Saturday, May 20, a joyous event in the life of the Church Parish School took place in London with the blessing of archbishop Elisey of sourozh. It was a celebration of the 220th anniversary of the birth of Saint Innocentiy – the Apostle of Siberia and Alaska. This event held within framework of Slavanic writing and culture festival and it is invaluable in perpetuating the immortal heritage of the saint in the eyes of children – our future. The outstanding playwright of Yakutia Vladimir Fedorov, as well as Alexei Chertkov, sent the synopsis of their plays “The Diamond Cross” and “The Apostle sent down by God” about St. Innocentiy of Moscow and Kolomna, which helped a lot towards production of a cartoon on the life of the saint. The school’s director and a very talented teacher, Elena Nikolaevna Poplavska, was able to adapt a complex story and the texts in a poetic form for children. Both children and teachers took an active part in the creation of the cartoon (Alexandra Zharova, Inna Guseva, Anna Mayhew-Smith and Sofia Chekanova).
The concert was a great success. The children’s choir (led by Marina Bezmenova-Nikolaou) sang a song about the Tundra, as well as the Yakut song “Kelyukecheen” (soloist Sofia Reznik), which impressed the guests from Yakutia, invited by Archbishop Elisey of Surozh and the school director. Archpriest Dimitry (Karpenko) and Priest Innokentiy (Kolesnikov) also attended the concert. We are very grateful to Tatyana Vladimirovna Borisova-Pavlova, the chair of the Yakut branch of the All-Russian Choral Society, who provided the lyrics and music to the song.
Continuing the northern theme, the children performed with great success the fairy tale play “Cuckoo” (Mother-Sofia Reznick, children – Nicholai Maryn, Ivan Sychev and Ivan Smolyakov). The winged cuckoo dress and national Yakut costumes for the children were made by our seamstress Olga Posiene. The Yakut head-dress “Bastyna”, a purse with Yakut ornament and beadwork were also made by Olga Posiene, after careful study of the ethnographic material.
During the year, the children of the Church-Parish School produced paintings on the subject of the North, of the feats of service performed by Saint Innocentiy. Yelena Poplavska prepared the script of the concert and it went without a single hitch. We bow to you, dear Elena Nikolaevna and our dear teachers, whose modest work, most of the time, remains unnoticed by the thousands of London parishioners!
There was an element of surprise: Svetlana Yegorova-Johnstone played a Sakha national instrument Khomus, which she brought along to the concert. Archbishop Elisey presented flowers to Svetlana Yegorova-Johnstone, thanking her for her assistance with the concert.
At the end of the feast, Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh addressed all the children, parents, teachers and guests over the importance of the missionary and the enlightenment activity of St. Innokentiy Veniaminov. Director Elena Nikolaevna Poplavska presented souvenirs, beaded angels made by the schoolchildren, to the Yakut guests. The invited guests from Yakutia expressed their deepest gratitude to Elena Nikolaevna and to her dedicated team of teachers, whose hard work often goes unnoticed by the parishioners.